President Donald Trump has accused activists who want to remove monuments to Confederate generals and other divisive American leaders of conducting “a merciless campaign to wipe out our history, defame our heroes, erase our values and indoctrinate our children.”
Speaking at Mount Rushmore on Friday night, the president said “angry mobs are trying to tear down statues of our founders, deface our most sacred memorials and unleash a wave of violent crime in our cities.”
The pre-holiday address to mark the nation’s independence follows weeks of nationwide protests following the killing of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis.
Some demonstrators have also destroyed or damaged Confederate monuments and statues honouring those who have benefited from slavery.
“This movement is openly attacking the legacies of every person on Mount Rushmore,” Trump said.
The monument depicts the faces of presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln.
“These heroes will never be defaced. Their legacy will never, ever be destroyed. Their achievements will never be forgotten. And Mount Rushmore will stand forever as an eternal tribute to our forefathers and to our freedom,” President Trump said.
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In This Story: George Floyd
George Floyd was an African-American man who died on 25th May 2020 in Powderhorn, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, following police arrest. Video recording by a witness, showing Floyd repeating “Please”, “I can’t breathe”, and “Don’t kill me”, was widely circulated on social media platforms and broadcast by media. The incident led to widespread protests across the United States.
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In This Story: Donald Trump
This story features US President Donald Trump. Donald John Trump is the 45th and current president of the United States. Before entering politics, he was a businessman and television personality. See more Donald Trump news here.